Görkem Uyar – Class of 2018-2019
I had started improving my programming, machine learning and data science skills by open sources two years before I applied for the Data Analytics program. Courses on online platforms such as Coursera and Udacity, solution in Kaggle competitions and blogs helped me develop basic skills. However; this self-improvement was not enough to make a career change.
Work experience and at least master’s degree level (but almost always PhD level) academic background were the most important criteria in both local and abroad job adverts. Even I agreed on the experience in working on real world problems, I couldn’t accept the fact that large or small, all employers, independently from their operation, are required MSc/PhD degree in a field has become widespread in last decade. My thoughts changed after a few months. New courses starting every seven weeks were similar to lego bricks. I realized that I was combining these different lego bricks when I presented three different projects in three courses on the same subject I picked. Gathering whole fragmentary knowledge could be accessed on open sources and improving each year thanks to the feedback of alumni, Data Analytics programs is similar to a tough marathon. After you show your work in capstone projects day, you can introduce yourself as a data scientist confidently and make your career change easily at the end of the year.
Dilan Eda Emeklioğlu – Class of 2014-2015
After graduation from the Sabancı University Manufacturing Systems Engineering Program in 2012, I worked on online marketing in the pharmaceutical industry and online marketing analysis & business intelligence in e-commerce. During that period, I began reading research articles on “data analytics”, “big data” and “predictive analytics” and went over companies’ practices about these issues. Increasing amounts of data required proper data management, manipulation, analysis and value creation, which led to an increased employment demand in this field. In addition to this career potential, I found data analytics to be quite interesting and entertaining, so I decided that I had found the ideal job for me. I was searching the internet for online education and graduate and certificate programs abroad when I received an email about Sabancı University’s Data Analytics program. It was offering me a master’s degree that would go in tandem with my career. As a graduate of Sabancı University, I already knew the quality of education; the curriculum was good, course hours were convenient, and this was the first graduate program of its kind in Turkey. I wanted to switch to this field without wasting any time. All conditions being suitable, I started my master’s degree in the end of 2014. It was exhausting to have this program and my job at the same time, but I completed this program with pleasure.
Near the end of the program, I decided to change jobs and got three offers in a short time, which, I think, was mostly thanks to this program. During our visit to Deloitte for the Data Visualization course, I realized that what the Deloitte Analytics team was doing was what I wanted; then I began working at Deloitte Analytics team as an advisor when I completed this program. “Data Scientist” was selected as the most popular occupation of 2016; the number of job postings and searches related with data science, data science seminars and articles in the literature are increasing. A new C-level position, CDO (Chief Data Officer), emerged in the private sector. Companies are trying to make their ways through “data-driven decision making”, and those who aren’t yet will understand the important of this in a couple of years and every company will have data architects, data scientists and data engineers. I have to say that Sabancı University’s Data Analytics program provides an essential background for those who want to orientate their career into data analytics, or those who are in the business but never had an academic education. This program provides exactly what a data scientist has to have, and offers the opportunity to learn and make use of other languages, tools and technical skills. I believe that it will get better every year by evolving through previous students’ remarks on the program and adaptation to innovations. Apart from the career change opportunity the program provided, I met distinguished professors and made experienced friends from different sectors. I would like to express my gratitude to all of my professors. After 3 years in business life, it was great to be a student again, even if I was not on campus; I am happy to have chosen such a pioneering institution like Sabancı University for my bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Engin Cabar – Class of 2014-2015
I worked as a Java developer for a while after completing an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering. But I was not satisfied with what I had to do at my job, so I was thinking about switching to another field. I decided to focus on a more specific field. I was looking for a suitable graduate program when I came across Sabancı University’s Data Analytics program. I had heard about the big data concept before, but I wasn't expecting to find such a program in Turkey. Although some of the courses taught in the program such as Big Data Processing Using Hadoop, Social Network Analysis, Exploratory Data Analysis and Visualization were new to Turkey, we did not have any difficulty thanks to our proefssors who were experts in their fields. The expertise of our professors in their respective fields provided us a content-rich education. As I mentioned before, my wish was to switch to another field; but this came true even before the completion of this program. This Data Analytics Program helped me get a job in a private bank that makes serious Big Data investments in Turkey. I would like to thank professor H. Sait Ölmez who made such a program possible when the Big Data concept was hardly heard of in Turkey, and other distinguished professors.
Feride Karagöz – Class of 2014-2015
When I graduated from the METU Departments of Statistics and Industrial Engineering, I had a clear idea about what to do next. What I learned when I was studying Statistics was very exciting for me, and I wanted to make use of this theoretical knowledge in practice. I was frequently told that I would never find a chance to use this knowledge in any position, but I exactly knew what I wanted. So I made job applications accordingly. Among many, I realized that it would be better start for me to accept this offer from the Risk Management Department of Yapı Kredi Bank. This department was carrying on extensive works on modeling, which gave me a chance to use theoretical knowledge in practice. I felt the need to further improve myself as it got deeper and the “big data” concept emerged. So I decided to have a master’s degree; but I could not find any graduate programs to offer such a technical education in Turkey. Two years later, I saw this Data Analytics program that had just started in Sabancı University on LinkedIn, and I went for an interview. I realized, during the interview, that the program not only provided theoretical knowledge but also put it into practice. It also had a strong faculty. As one of the first graduates, I have to say that those who want to improve themselves on data analysis, data mining, data modeling and “big data” should apply to this program. I admit that an intense and exhausting program will be waiting for you, but you will never regret. After my graduation, I began working in the Business Intelligence Department of Turkcell. I have been developing models for business processes by using statistical methods and working on “big data”. I want to thank all of our faculty, our program director H. Sait Ölmez in particular, for their close attention and friendly manner during the program.
Metin Turgal – Class of 2015-2016
In an age where internet has an abundance of courses offered on data analytics, data science and other related fields, I had my doubts whether I should invest my time and resources on such a program. But today, I see that the program's content, which is of very high quality, is just tip of the iceberg. The feedback and guidance you get from the instructors, the confidence you gain from the program besides all the networking and the professional marketing value with the prospective employers are unmatched. Personally what I value most is that as a Sabancı University student I am now part of a different culture, a member of one of the most innovative and scientific institutions in Turkey.
The program is quite demanding and challenging but you will never get bored for sure.
Neslican Yüzak – Class of 2014-2015
After a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering, I decided to improve myself in and further studied analytics with great pleasure. So I began working in a private bank with a team of analysts. From the first day of my job, gaining experience in the sector and having a master’s degree in analytics were among my future plans. After three years of experience in analytics, I found out about Sabancı University’s Data Analytics graduate program. Just reading the excellent curriculum and checking out which professors would be giving those lectures made me realize that this was the right decision if I wanted to improve myself in analytics. Theoretical knowledge and practice are provided together, building an invaluable bridge between theory and real life. One of the most remarkable advantages of the program is the incorporation of new technologies and practices in the analytics world, providing the attendees with the opportunity to gain experience on the newly-emerging technologies. Courses are in the Karaköy building, which is a great convenience after work. The program is taught over three successive semesters, so you can complete it in just a year. No matter how exhausting that year will be, the experience and knowledge this program has to offer will undoubtedly worth the effort.
Remziye Güneş – Class of 2014-2015
I thought I can’t miss it when I heard that Sabancı University has a master’s degree in Data Analytics. This program attracted my attention because it was a master’s program specific to my field, the curriculum posted on their website was the best possible curriculum for this occupation, and it was a 1-year program.
There are good and bad sides of a 1-year intense program. You have to finish your project assignments in a short time and switch topics without having enough time to digest; if you are working and studying at the same time like all of my friends from the program, you may feel unable to stand the pressure.
Looking back and keeping this downside in mind, I am glad to have enrolled in this program. I learned a lot of things with which I didn't have enough practice in my job, broadening my vision. I believe that it was one giant leap for me in just one year, from “data analyst” to “data scientist”. I have to thank our professors who were eager to learn and teach and are experts in their fields. I recommend this graduate program to those who set their hearts on data analytics.
İlhan Çağatay – Class of 2014-2015
Following my (2010) graduation from the Marmara University Computer Engineering department, I started working on data analysis, modeling and segmentation in a private bank. I chose this job because the extremely rapid development of everyday technology will convert all aspects of our daily lives into data, and companies will make investments in this area for profitability, efficiency and general business sense. With the advent of the Big Data concept in recent years, I am assured that I made the right choice. As soon as I heard about the Sabancı University Data Analytics Program, my interest was piqued. I checked the program contents, saw that they fit in well with my objectives, and enrolled. On the path to becoming a Data Scientist, this program expanded my vision through case studies in other sectors, lectures by professional experts, and particulary with practical studies on data visualization, an area that I had long neglected. It is an intensive program with theoretical and applied courses three days a week, and the abundance of assignments and projects mean you can thoroughly reinforce your learning. Electives were great in terms of variety and relevance to current technologies (I selected Hadoop, Social Network Analysis and Data Visualization). Although it is difficult to juggle time between work and school, you will realize that you made the right decision and significantly boosted your future employment opportunities at the end of the year.